Dulcimer Writer, September 12, 2013 (view all comments by Dulcimer Writer)
This book was an unexpected surprise! The Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling are among my favorites, so I was thrilled to learn that she had written this book. If you're a fan of Agatha Christie books, or of modern mystery authors such as J. A. Jance and Michael Connelly, you'll probably enjoy this book. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more books by J. K. Rowling about Cormoran Strike in the future!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
La corota, August 7, 2013 (view all comments by La corota)
My hopes for something spectacular were deflated by mid-book. With most murder mysteries, I anticipate a particular movement and cadence from cover-to-cover. There were very brief moments the story moved along; other time several chapters slogged along. The author's command of structure is superb. I enjoyed Rowling's proper use of semi-colons throughout the narrative. Character development: eh, blah. She may've employed the Harry Potter approach with these characters and it failed for me. My only returning interest with each session was the relationship between Strike, and Robin. It came through as genuine and human in the landscape of wealthy musicians, models, and attorneys. Perhaps I fell in with the Rowling groupie crowd expecting each and every work to meet five-star expectations.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
StormyWolf, August 5, 2013 (view all comments by StormyWolf)
The Cuckoo's Calling was an interesting foray into the world of detectives and investigation. I'd recommend it for those familiar with the mystery genre and detective stories enthusiasts or those looking for a calm and steady investigation with elements of noir. It contains strong language, drinking, allusions to sex, and violence (apart from the original crime), so it's safe to say it's probably not meant to be on the shelves of schools. That being said, I don't think some older high-schoolers would be completely out of range, though the pacing might be a bit too slow for them. So if you're looking for the magic that is good old-fashioned logic and curiosity, you'd have to be cuckoo not to give The Cuckoo's Calling a look.
Approximate Reading Time: 8 hours
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (4 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Dieveney, July 24, 2013 (view all comments by Dieveney)
By now we all know that Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for the great J.K. Rowling and you certainly can feel her characteristic rhythm and humor in the writing. She is her usual dazzling self at creating flawed yet extremely likeable characters. Private investigator Cormoran Strike is a little rough around the edges but clever enough that I was happy to follow him around while he uncovered the clues to find out what happened to the supermodel Lula. Something I have in common with his very loveable temporary secretary Robin. I hope this is just the beginning of our adventures with this fun cast of characters and this first mystery is certainly worth your time.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
whatsheread, May 9, 2013 (view all comments by whatsheread)
A famous model plunges to her death from her third-story flat, and the world mourns for a few frenzied weeks. Such is the life and death of a celebrity. To her family members though, the ruling of death by suicide does not sit well, prompting them to look up an old family friend cum private detective to search for the truth. Enter Cormoran Strike, former military police, wounded in Afghanistan, and now facing the sudden and volatile break-up with his long-time girlfriend. His business is failing, and now that his relationship is over, he has no home. What he does have is a careful attention to detail, a passion for justice, and the intellect necessary to use one to achieve the other. As he goes about his business searching for clues and hard proof to back up his suspicions, he is helped by his extremely competent and adorably innocent secretary, Robin. Together, they ferret out the truth and uncover a surprising plot for fame, money, and glory.
Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo's Calling is a true, old-fashioned murder mystery, albeit without the misogynistic, machismo tendencies such novels traditionally have. In true detective novel fashion, it is the characters that makes the story so enjoyable. Cormoran Strike is at once sympathetic and more than a bit scary. He is hairy, large, and extremely capable. There is a coldness to him, due to his past experiences in the military, that makes itself known in every little action and word. Yet, he is endearingly sweet, careful around his loved ones, and still very vulnerable thanks to his mental and physical wounds. It is this vulnerability onto which a reader will latch, as he struggles to pull his life back together while attempting to discern the truth. Similarly, Robin is a delightful counterpoint to Cormoran’s fumblings. She is exceedingly competent at her job, appears delicate but has a backbone of steel when needed, and has the type of caring attitude that her boss needs to further his healing. Moreover, she is intelligent and very good at thinking on her feet, something Cormoran appreciates, recognizes as a huge asset, and for which gives her credit. Robin is not the bimbo secretary there to take his calls and organize his schedule and files, nor does he treat her like one. Theirs is definitely a modern-day partnership, with all the respect and appreciation good working relationships generate.
The Cuckoo's Calling harkens back to old-school detective novels. Cormoran has all the modern-day sensitivities even if he is a man’s man with his massive bulk, his non-metrosexual body hair, military history and accolades, and intimidating demeanor. Robin, for all her tidiness and appearance of delicacy, is the perfect foil for Comoran, and together they make a great team. Also, the story itself is one of the few mysteries in recent months that actually remains a mystery until the very end. The use of well-hidden clues and plenty of red herrings excel at throwing readers off the scent of the truth. Mirroring Cormoran’s detective work, the novel is methodical and deliberate, and while there is little action, the resolution is as satisfactory as it is surprising because of the time Mr. Galbraith takes in developing his characters and establishing the plot. Because of the care Mr. Galbraith takes to establish his story, The Cuckoo's Calling is not meant for slapdash, quick reading. Instead, it requires the same deliberately slow reading pace used to set the tone of the novel. However, because the story is so careful and exactly in its details, a reader will not mind at all to spend a little more time with the adorable Robin and vulnerable yet daunting Cormoran Strike.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (7 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
J. K. Rowling scores a big hit with her incognito foray into the mystery genre. No, she was not happy to be outed as Robert Galbraith, but her cantankerous, grumpy P.I. and excellent story will make you happy that she was. Here's hoping she continues making inroads into adult literature.
by Publishers Weekly, starred review,
"Combines a complex and compelling sleuth and an equally well-formed and unlikely assistant with a baffling crime....A stellar debut."
"Instantly absorbing, featuring a detective facing crumbling circumstances with resolve instead of clichéd self-destruction and a lovable sidekick with contagious enthusiasm for detection. Strike bears little resemblance to Jackson Brodie, but Kate Atkinson's fans will appreciate his reliance on deduction and observation along with Galbraith's skilled storytelling."
by Library Journal, starred review (Mystery Debut of the Month),
"Plenty of twists....Totally engrossing....Galbraith's take on contemporary celebrity obsession makes for a grand beach read."
"A page-turner featuring an uncommon hero....This engrossing story boasts a fascinating cast of fast-track suspects....Robert Galbraith has added a singular new voice to the genre of crime fiction with his engaging debut novel."
by Val McDermid, bestselling author of The Vanishing Point,
"The Cuckoo's Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place."
by Mark Billingham, author of The Demands,
"Cormoran Strike is an amazing creation and I can't wait for his next outing. Strike is so instantly compelling that it's hard to believe this is a debut novel. I hope there are plenty more Cormoran Strike adventures to come. A beautifully written debut novel introducing one of the most unique and compelling detectives I've come across in years."
by Mike Cooper, Shamus Award-winning author of Clawback,
"Robert Galbraith's debut is as hardbitten and hard-driving as its battered hero. Cuckoo's Calling scales the glittering heights of society even as it plumbs the dark depths of the human heart. A riveting read from an author to watch."
by Duane Swierczynski, Shamus and Anthony Award-winning author of Fun and Games,
"The private eye novel is not dead. It was merely waiting for Robert Galbraith to give it a firm squeeze, goosing it back to bold, new life. Hardboiled crime fans are going to go cuckoo for this one. I haven't had this much fun with a detective novel in years."
by Owen Laukkanen, author of The Professionals,
"A remarkably assured debut. Robert Galbraith's portrayal of celebrity-obsessed modern London is at once beautifully written and utterly engrossing, his characters so real you could eat dinner with them, his ever-coiling plot guaranteed to keep you up past your bedtime. I couldn't put it down."
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.